On the edge of my sheep pasture, there is an old iron tub that sits abandoned amits some old iron objects that now lay unrecognizable in the tall grass. This area once was the previous occupants dump pile, their own personal land fill. When Lisa and I moved here we removed most of the debris; an old burned up microwave, a refrigerator, bed springs, gas cans (no doubt once used to douse these items with fuel for burning) Lots of smoked and charred tin cans and jars and just some other random things that I had no idea what they were.
While on our search for the perfect property we ran across a lot of these homemade trash incinerating sites, the thing is I never could understand how one could think one could burn away a refrigerator or glass jars or tin cans. I do understand that not too long ago there was no garbage service, and now that there is, it’s still hard for some to get used to or justify the $15.00 a month to have their trash taken off their property, when they could just dispose of it for free out on the back forty.
I see my neighbor across the street loading up his old pick up with trash cans and driving to the back of his property. And my neighbor to the north of me, I have never seen a garbage can on the curb side waiting to be picked up.
But this story isn’t about trash or maybe it is a little. The old tub is a white wash blue, weathered and antiqued from the many Oklahoma seasons it’s no doubt encountered. It sits at the highest point of the property, so if you sit in the tub or on the edge you have a wonderful view of the rolling hills and horizon beyond. It’s been nice to sit in it when there is snow on the ground or when the grass is high and you don’t want to just sit on the grass, so it serves as refuge from ticks, chiggers and the likes. It’s far enough away that I can’t see the house and however abandon it once was its now and has been for a number of years a peaceful quiet place for doing some hard core contemplation.
I’ve sat in the tub during thunderstorms, snow storms, beautiful spring and summer mornings and evenings and even three in the morning star gazing when I couldn’t sleep. I’ve contemplated life, death, success, failure, loss, dreams, ideas and fears and have been inspired. I’ve dissected the past, planned for the future. I’ve laughed, I’ve cried and I’ve been soaked to the bone by a sudden down pour. I’ve even been joined by baby goats and I’ve watched deer and coyotes cross the field right in front of me while I sit quietly.
So this morning I felt the call to the thinking tub. I wanted to think about my mom and how much I miss her. Every year since I’ve lived here I spend mother’s day alone. One year I made a huge flower bed, the next I added to it. But today it’s wet and rainy so I sit in the tub and allow myself to indulge in my mother’s memory, of the wonderful woman she was. I also allow myself to think of my sister who was also like a mother to me who I lost to cancer just last August and I remember the laughs we all had. I rarely let myself indulge in such things out of fear I will fall into a great un-yielding despair. But today I’ve given myself the freedom to feel and the place to do it.
So my cliché thought of the day…..turns out the thinking tub is quite a treasure, you know where I’m going with this.